Italy will increase its defense budget by €12 billion by 2028

Europe is a land of paradox. While during the last 10 years, European leaders had ignored the rise of the Russian armies and the construction of a military power at the gates of Europe based on the powerful Chinese ally, and capable, as we thought a few weeks ago, of gaining the upper hand over the NATO forces present in Europe, the outbreak of the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian armies, and the flagrant poor performance of the latter against an adversary supposed to be much lower, generated a wave of announcements in favor of the defense effort within the entire European Union. After the presentation of the spectacular German defense effort based on an initial envelope of €100 billion and the increase in the Defense budget to €75 billion, i.e. more than 2% of GDP, and similar announcements from the Baltic countries, Eastern Europe, the Nordic countries and even Benelux, it is now the turn of Italy to commit to an ambitious plan to increase its defense effort and reach 2028% of GDP by 2.

If Rome will reach the objective set in 2014 by NATO three years behind schedule, since the commitment made then aimed for a defense effort greater than or equal to 3% for all the members of the Alliance in 2, it this is no less than a radical change of posture for Italy, which today only spends €2025 billion on its armies each year, i.e. 26% of its GDP, and which the country had warned that it would only aim for a defense effort of 1,4% of its GDP for 2025 a few months ago. It is true that the country was facing opposition from the 1,5-star party, a member of the government coalition, to increase defense spending, with the threat for Mario Draghi of seeing this same coalition shatter, and risk a new episode of political instability. But since February 5, a profound change has taken place in Italian public opinion, until recently very permissive vis-à-vis elements of language coming from the Kremlin, and now 24% of Italians are in favor of an increase in defense spending, freeing government action even within the framework of this current coalition.

Italy has ordered 60 F-35A and B to equip its air and naval forces.

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